The run begins, unusually, with a personal visit from the group’s Fixer, Tiny. Tiny, being the overweight and out of shape troll that he is, struggles and bemoans the physical visitation, but tells the runners that the face to face communication was insisted by the employer. He then gives them the meet time and location on a physical piece of paper. The location happens to be one of the most inhospitable places in all of the Seattle Metroplex: Hell’s Kitchen. After arriving at the ash fields, the group struggles along for a few minutes before employing a local to guide them to their meet location.
Once there they are greeted by a Mr. Johnson who employed them previously. He is offering to employ them again to track down a hacker that is part of a group of hackers that has been preying upon his employer’s systems as of late. Mr. Johnson absolutely stresses that these are extremely skilled hackers, and that the group should take extreme caution in using any sort of Matrix tool when performing the run. He then gives the group the information they need in order to track the hacker: the Access ID that was used during the last intrusion, and a picture of the persona that performed the hack. The persona looks like a little blonde girl, with pigtails, holding a teddy bear in one arm, and a doll in the other. Unbeliever instantly recognizes it as one that took over the yacht in New Orleans when they were extracting a researcher there (see My Name is Legion). Since their guide left, and Mr. Johnson took a private chopper, the group is left to make their way back out of Hell’s Kitchen on their own. On the way out the group is ambushed by a Gargoyle which mauls Pallbearer before being dispatched by a judicious application of bullets provided by Primus.
While Makari takes Pallbearer back to his medical shop to get patched up, the rest of the group begins to trace the hacker. Unbeliever starts with a brief (2 second) Trace, and narrows the current location of the signal to somewhere in the Redmond Barrens of Seattle. Scorn decides to do some background research on their target by doing some face-to-face asking at a hacker bar that they know: The Cathode Glow. After discreetly asking around, Scorn learns that the persona is a known member of “some kind of group” of hackers, though this group does not engage in the standard hacking activities, they have “some sort of cause.” The group then meets back at Makari’s shop where Unbeliever completes the Trace emphatically, giving the group a very precise location (within a few meters).
When the address is given, Padre recognizes it, and quickly looks up the location. It turns out to be a charity preschool and daycare for indigent children in the Barrens, something Padre has supported in the past. This turns out to be the first clue that something is unusual about this mission and their target. The team decides to head to the location and proceed cautiously. With Unbeliever providing surveillance disguised (not unnaturally) as a drunk, Padre and Scorn bluff their way inside the building to take a look. Making their way to the room indicated in the signal trace, the team discover that the hacker is young, grubby, girl, about 5 years old.
About this time, Scorn starts to receive strange messages on his commlink from who seem to know the girl they are after. With some fancy talking in person and on the Matrix, Scorn leaves the school with the girl, but upon learning that the girls associates know about them they decide to head to a secure location to discuss the issue. While in discussion, the girl (named Molly) tells Padre that her and her friends are trying to destroy an entity she refers to as “the tree.” The team learns that this group is looking for help, but if they want to help they must “lose their employer.”
The team is somewhat divided on the issue, but eventually decide to continue with their mission, and go undercover to infiltrate or expose the hacker group. After setting up a meeting with their paranoid employer, Scorn starts to explain the situation. However, Molly shows Padre, on his own commlink, that the hacker group is watching everything the group is doing. In addition, the group’s employer does not want to commit further time without first seeing the hacker (Molly) that the group has already captured and so demands to see her immediately. Padre, Makari, and Unbeliever, feeling sympathy for Molly and her cause refuse to turn her over to their employer. So, caught between a rock and a hard place, the group is left with the unenviable option of some how getting rid of their employer.
After briefly considering a bloody shootout to wipe out their employer, the team (with some prompting by the mysterious hackers) decide to first try bluffing their employer into thinking that they “lost” Molly. Scorn and Pallbearer step up to try and convince their employer, while the rest of the team waits with baited breath (and a loaded LMG, in the case of Primus). With a relief, their employer (unhappily) accepts their explanation and leaves.
After that, the hacker contacts the runners to have a brief conversation in an old video arcade to size them up. Being satisfied with what they hear, the runners finally meet Molly’s “friends” in person. The runners are greeted by Ronin, who leads them into the basement of the building, where he introduces the runners to Dodger, Megaera, and several other members of Overwatch. Ronin then goes on to explain everything he knows about Deus and what is going on inside the Renraku Arcology, including the fact that the runners have been unknowingly working for Deus and they strongly suspect that Deus’ agents will contact the runners again. He suggests that the runners lay low, and wait for the perfect opportunity to strike and make a difference.